The Digitisation Studio

The Digitisation Studio provides a bespoke solution for digitising fragile, rare or archival material. Copies from books in the open shelf collections are handled by the Document Supply service.

Equipped with high-specification digital SLR cameras and scanners, the Digitisation Studio is able to produce colour-profiled and quality-assured high-resolution digital images to meet your requirements.

Studio staff are able to undertake digitisation orders up to 100 images from our rare books, Special Collections, photograph and multi-media material and archives, with the support of the Library’s professional conservators. We can also create digital images from external collections, both personal and institutional. Further information is available below, or by competing the enquiry form.


Why Digitise?

Digitisation unlocks the hidden treasures in a collection, dramatically increasing accessibility and creating more ways to present records to new and wider audiences.


Benefits of digitisation:

  • Access: The information in documents can be published in a number of ways and made available to a global audience way beyond the physical reading room.
  • Peservation: Following digitisation, physical documents can be withdrawn from production, dramatically decreasing the damage caused by handling.
  • Discoverability: Capturing the right descriptive data from a digitised document makes relevant content much easier to find and helps minimise time spent searching collections.
  • Interaction: Digitised content is versatile and can be used to communicate with customers across a range of channels such as web, mobile, interactive demonstrations & exhibitions. It is a particularly strong tool for use on social media, opening dialogue with customers to encourage activity such as crowdsourcing and blogging.


Our Services

We recognise that every requirement is unique and will work with you to develop a bespoke service tailored to your specific requirements – incorporating any or all of the digitisation services we offer.


Digital capture:

  • We have the equipment, dedicated facilities and specialist staff to offer a range of digitisation services.
  • Creation of high-quality digital images for reproduction on websites, in presentations, in exhibitions, merchandise or as book illustrations.
  • Small to medium-scale project-based requests to digitise material.


Recent examples:


  • High resolution imaging of medieval books and manuscripts for Bloomsbury Online.
  • High-resolution images of non-standard format material for Cengage (Making of the Modern World) and Alexander Street (Borders and Migration).
  • Imaging and OCR of text of rare historic newspaper The Hackney Harrier for the Layers of London website.
  • High quality digital photography of rare illustrations for Mary Evans Picture Library.
  • OCR’d reproductions from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ archives for reproduction on the Ruth First Papers project website.
  • Digitisation of obsolescent audio-visual formats such as VHS tape, black discs, CDs and DVDs.


Service charges

Prices are per individual item (as at February, 2015). Quotes for large scale project available upon request.

Item Cost
600dpi image, JPEG or TIFF £20
300dpi image, JPEG or TIFF £10
PDF from JPEG or TIFF including OCR 80p
Images onto DVD/CD £1.00 per disk

We can supply Master images, including a Q13 colour/greyscale target and ruler, or images can be cropped ready for web-display, according to your needs.

For larger-scale projects (over 100 images), we can provide quotes based on the condition and nature of the original items.

Contact us for further information. Please note – postage charges are payable on all orders delivered by post.

If you are a staff member in SHL or SAS, please send an email for further details.



Responsibility for clearing copyrights for publication lies with the customer. Neither Senate House Library nor the Digitisation Service team take responsibility for this.

For a no-obligation quote, or to request further information on the services we provide, please complete our enquiry form and click the 'Submit' button.